Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Lessons from COVID-19 III: Politicization

Philosophy News image
Image Credit When a threat to all humans exists, it would seem irrational for a political party to politicize the matter. But this does happen.  One reason is that while it seems Americans are extremely polarized; this is often more appearance than reality. While Americans do disagree strongly on certain limited issues, there is considerable consensus about many issues. Because of this, there is often a need to manufacture conflict in which political points can be scored. Since a threat generates considerable emotional responses it can be ideal for politization—a party can tap into the emotions and manipulate them to its advantage. There are also cases in which taking a threat seriously is seen as contrary to the interests of the influential and they work hard to politicize the matter. If they succeed, they can recruit voters to their side and get them to support policies that put them in danger. Thus, a political party can have two excellent reasons to politicize a threat to everyone: to score political points and serve the interests of those who benefit from allowing the threat to remain unaddressed. Politicization can be extremely effective at engaging emotions and disengaging reasoning. There are numerous fallacies (such as group think) and cognitive biases (such as in group bias) that feed and are fed by ideology. If you have strong ideological views you were almost certainly thinking of examples of how those you do not like have engaged in the behavior described above—or similar behavior. For example, if you are liberal, then you are likely to have thought of the Republican politicization of climate change. If you are a conservative, you might have been thinking about the sins of the Democrats. If so, then you can see how effectively conflict can be created along party lines. The COVID-19 virus presents a clear threat to everyone, but it quickly became politicized. Initially the Trump administration downplayed the virus and  accused the. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: A Philosopher's Blog

blog comments powered by Disqus